Final reflection before Team Trident take to stormy waters
Rough seas caused a short delay and a moment of doubt for rowing duo Jordan Beecher and Jon Armstrong, who have trained solidly on First Degree Fitness Rowing machines for the past six months in preparation for their Transatlantic ocean row.
With an additional 48 hours up their sleeve, and time to reflect on the lead up to trading in the Viking Pro Indoor Rower for a seven-metre long ocean row boat, Jon and Jordan shared their training experience, feelings and learnings with us.
We wish these rowing warriors the best for their journey, and have truly been inspired by their relentless and even gruelling dedication.
12 December 2017
We started this morning with a routine check on the boat amidst howling winds ripping through the rigging of the tall ships in the harbour. We could see from the flags adoring the sea, the wind was going in the right direction – a good sign for the race to begin.
Unfortunately, the race brief at 09:00 was to be one of bad news, the race was off. To my surprise an overwhelming feeling of disappointment hit me, which then turned to a feeling of confidence. Instead of being relieved the race had been postponed for at least 24 hours, I was truly ready to take on this challenge and thus my natural response had been disappointment.
In hindsight, while we thought the delay would give us more time to tweak and perfect our boat’s layout, we ended up overthinking, filling ourselves with self-doubt wondering whether we had forgotten something important.
For now, we wait for the winds to subside. Tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully the chance to finally begin our Atlantic Campaign.
13 December 2017
Jordan and I sip on our final gin and tonic, reflecting on the frantic last couple of weeks of organisation, inspections and testing. We have packaged our food, completed test rows and of course, eaten as much high calorie food as we can.
1100hrs, 14 December we depart for La Gomera, Spain, rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
Most First Degree Fitness readers and fitness fanatics will, I’m sure, recoil in horror as I tell you that we have been consuming around 8,000 calories a day, with minimum exercise. Worse still, a trend which has been going on for at least the past two months, resulting in Jordan and I gaining around 12kgs each!
As sluggish as we feel, this gruelling regime of eating has furnished us with an essential fat layer that will aid our bodies in coping with the physicality of rowing across the transatlantic. Entering into an extreme endeavour without a fat layer can cause the body to suffer, as it fights to produce enough horsepower to sustain the intense physical pressure. Cambridge University conducted a study last week looking at the percentage of muscle and body fat within the entire race fleet – we maintained the highest percentage, a good starting position!
Looking at the competing teams around us, Jordan and I are confident in the preparation we have undertaken, putting us in a strong position to perform at the high standard required. Our long and consistent training sessions on First Degree Fitness fluid rowers has provided us with much needed strength and conditioning, while at the same time preparing us mentally for the strenuous ocean row.
We have so many sponsors to thank and we owe a great deal to all of them, however, FDF deserves a special mention. With ongoing support from the very beginning and belief in our mission, you have provided us with the tools and encouragement to keep training.
Jordan and I have been privileged to design our training and strength building program around our two sponsored Viking Pro indoor water rowing machines. We undoubtedly have the advantage amongst the other teams as we have actually been training with water resistance. The secret behind FDF’s fluid technology is the combination of a multi-bladed impeller and internal baffles within the rowing machine water tank, which generates a smooth uniform stroke unrivalled in its precise replication, including no lag of resistance at the catch, and continued resistance all the way to the finish, just like in a boat.
We will of course keep you updated on our progress and hope to see as many of you as we can when we get back to civilisation!